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Last call for entries.

Last call for entries An interesting footnote to this issue of MLO is that two of the articles were originally submitted as entries in our 1985 Article Awards Contest. Like all MLO articles, whether submitted in the contest or solicited by our editors, they offer practical solutions to management problems in the clinical laboratory or present fresh insights into the practice of laboratory medicine.

The contest entries are these:

* "A Primer for Proficiency Testing" by Randy Oostra, Sioux Falls, S.D.

* "A Medical Technologist in Central Africa" by Mary K. Graden, Las Vegas, Nev. Honorable Mention winner.

I call your attention to them now because the deadline for our 1986 Article Awards Contest is fast approaching. It's June 30, just weeks away. Now is the time to put your entry together.

If you haven't thought about submitting an entry, I'd like to urge you to consider it. Don't be intimidated by the fact that you're not a professional writer. Even if you never had anything published before, you stand a better chance of being among the contest winners--or at least among the published--than you might imagine.

Let me illustrate that point. For the last several years, the contest has drawn 100-plus entries annually. Each time, 12 prizewinners shared the $2,500 in cash awards. But overall, approximately one-third of the entries have been accepted for publication each year. For the 1985 contest, the acceptance figure was 31 per cent. So you have roughly a one-out-of-three chance of having your entry published in the pages of MLO.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind:

* It's the idea that counts. We're looking for solutions to laboratory management problems that might be useful to your colleagues across the country. We don't expect you to be an accomplished writer, and writing skill or lack of it is not considered in the judging of entries.

If we think the ideas presented in your article would be worthwhile to a broad segment of MLO readers, our staff of professional editors will consult you and handle the task of refining your thoughts into a clear, polished, readable article.

* The rules and what to write about. The contest announcement on page 106 gives the very simple rules for submitting entries and lists some appropriate subject areas. For a more detailed list, you might want to examine the annual editorial index carried in our December issue. Incidentally, you may submit more than one entry if you wish.

* What to avoid. Why do the losing entries lose? They usually have one or more of these flaws: They are too elementary, describing basic laboratory duties and/or procedures; they pose a problem but offer no solution; they are too similar to material previously published in MLO; they present generalities and value judgments unsupported by data; or they focus on technical subjects, which we don't cover in MLO.

I hope this summary will help you plan an appropriate entry for our current contest. The $1,000 first prize, $500 second prize, and $100 for each of 10 honorable mentions are, of course, substantial incentives to enter. So, too, is the additional customary honorarium we pay for all published articles--prizewinners or not.

Many past contest entrants, however, have said that writing something that might help their fellow laboratorians confers an intangible reward that outweighs any monetary gain. It takes an effort to put your ideas down on paper, but you'll find it a uniquely satisfying experience, too.

Lastly, we wish you fresh ideas and good luck in the competition! But don't delay. The days grow long this time of year, but for the article contest, they dwindle down. Entries must be postmarked by June 30.
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Title Annotation:for 1985 Article Awards Contests for Medical Laboratory Observer
Author:Fitzgibbon, Robert
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Article Type:editorial
Date:Jun 1, 1986
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